The ArgusStanding fans facing Amex ban ‘for years’ (From The Argus)

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Standing fans facing Amex ban ‘for years’

The Argus: Fans applaud Brighton and Hove Albion during their game against Nottingham Forest Buy this photo Fans applaud Brighton and Hove Albion during their game against Nottingham Forest

Albion fans have been warned they could be evicted – and possibly banned – from the American Express Community Stadium if they resist demands to sit down during games.

Bosses at Brighton and Hove Albion claim there has been an increase in the number of supporters persistently standing during matches this season.

To avoid creating “unnecessary tension” and ensure the club meets Football Association rules, stewards have been told to ask fans to sit at quieter spells of games.

However, at the recent match between the Seagulls and Bristol City, three fans were evicted from the stadium after verbally and physically assaulting officials following the requests.

Paul Barber, the club’s chief executive, said any supporter who abused its officials can expect a ban from The Amex “likely to be measured in a number of years rather than matches”.

This, he added, was in addition to potential police action.

Standing issue

A letter about the issue of persistent standing was handed out to fans as they left the North Stand after Saturday’s match with Nottingham Forest at The Amex.

Mr Barber said: “As a club playing in one of the top two divisions of English football we are required to operate and compete in an all-seater stadium.

“Furthermore our ground regulations require us to ensure spectators do not persistently stand in seated areas while play is in progress.

“Clubs who do not comply with the regulations can face having their ground capacity reduced or receive a severe financial penalty – or both.”

Mr Barber recognised that the back four rows of the North Stand “would be treated differently” to the rest of the stadium, as was agreed when the ground opened last summer.

Safety certificate

He said this meant requests to sit down would be less frequent.

Mr Barber also warned the club’s safety certificate could also be withdrawn if it failed to act.

In summary, he said: “We want a great atmosphere at The Amex and we want everyone to enjoy watching the match.

“However, it is important for everyone to please always remember and respect that we have a moral and legal responsibility to comply with our ground regulations.”

It comes in the week there was a debate in Parliament about reintroducing safe standing at football grounds in the UK after the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

North Stand

Simon Oakley, of Seagulls Over Burwash supporters’ club, said: “It’s a North Stand problem and when they fill the corners in at the ground it could potentially get worse.

“To be honest when the club told people they could stand for longer periods of the match in the North Stand at the start of last season that sort of opened the flood gates.

“I’m all for safe standing to be honest. It would be great if we could bring it back.”

The Argus asked the club if the same laws would be enforced for away supporters but did not receive a response at the time of going to press.

However, some clubs whose fans persistently stand, such as Manchester United, Cardiff City and Leeds United, have had their ticket allocations to away grounds reduced.

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Comments (22)

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2:50pm Mon 17 Dec 12

matski_98 says...

Ok, so its ok to stand if you are in certain rows in certain stands or an away fan? On Saturday I don't think any of the Forest fans sat down during the whole match.

If you're going to ban standing then ban it completely. Anything else is just confusing.
Ok, so its ok to stand if you are in certain rows in certain stands or an away fan? On Saturday I don't think any of the Forest fans sat down during the whole match. If you're going to ban standing then ban it completely. Anything else is just confusing. matski_98
  • Score: 0

2:50pm Mon 17 Dec 12

magoo says...

When my group bought our season tickets we were told that the the club would only allow the back 4 rows of the north stand to be standing. This is why we bought seats there, I hope they don't go back on their word. But to this date, a season and a half in we have never been told to sit.
When my group bought our season tickets we were told that the the club would only allow the back 4 rows of the north stand to be standing. This is why we bought seats there, I hope they don't go back on their word. But to this date, a season and a half in we have never been told to sit. magoo
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Ballroom Blitz says...

Why the hell would anyone want to stand? Are they all mad?
Why the hell would anyone want to stand? Are they all mad? Ballroom Blitz
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

Been done to death on NSC. The bottom line is fans stand in all-seater stadiums up and down the country and no amount of pleas or threats will change that. All the authorities ever do is occasionally reduce an away team's allocation for next season (away fans that SIT are very much a minority), not one ground has ever been closed down due to persistent standing - and the Amex won't be either. It's all about revenue
Been done to death on NSC. The bottom line is fans stand in all-seater stadiums up and down the country and no amount of pleas or threats will change that. All the authorities ever do is occasionally reduce an away team's allocation for next season (away fans that SIT are very much a minority), not one ground has ever been closed down due to persistent standing - and the Amex won't be either. It's all about revenue Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Mon 17 Dec 12

PorkBoat says...

Where do they think this is? Wimbledon Centre Court? People tend to STAND UP and SING and CHEER and SHOUT at football matches. What do they expect, polite applause and murmurs of "Good play, Sir"? The stewards already get twitchy if someone raises their voice. You can't stop it, don't even try. You'll end up alienating lots of fans who have been going to see The Albion through good and bad times for years and years. Pathetic!
Where do they think this is? Wimbledon Centre Court? People tend to STAND UP and SING and CHEER and SHOUT at football matches. What do they expect, polite applause and murmurs of "Good play, Sir"? The stewards already get twitchy if someone raises their voice. You can't stop it, don't even try. You'll end up alienating lots of fans who have been going to see The Albion through good and bad times for years and years. Pathetic! PorkBoat
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Hoarder12345444 says...

matski_98 wrote:
Ok, so its ok to stand if you are in certain rows in certain stands or an away fan? On Saturday I don't think any of the Forest fans sat down during the whole match.

If you're going to ban standing then ban it completely. Anything else is just confusing.
yeah i agree, but its harder to get them to do so and also they visit once a season. I stood all game at Palace, was a bit annoying but people in front of me where so I had to. Seems to be a North stand thing, not sure why. Maybe they'd prefer to be in the terraces of the old Goldstone. The seats are very comfy and there is lots of space for your legs. I also get sore feet and get cold from standing for 45 mins! Just seat down people please, or we will get fined!!
[quote][p][bold]matski_98[/bold] wrote: Ok, so its ok to stand if you are in certain rows in certain stands or an away fan? On Saturday I don't think any of the Forest fans sat down during the whole match. If you're going to ban standing then ban it completely. Anything else is just confusing.[/p][/quote]yeah i agree, but its harder to get them to do so and also they visit once a season. I stood all game at Palace, was a bit annoying but people in front of me where so I had to. Seems to be a North stand thing, not sure why. Maybe they'd prefer to be in the terraces of the old Goldstone. The seats are very comfy and there is lots of space for your legs. I also get sore feet and get cold from standing for 45 mins! Just seat down people please, or we will get fined!! Hoarder12345444
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Mon 17 Dec 12

tandseagalsamantha says...

Ok, i have a split opinion on this in that when theres an attack and its exciting you cant help but stand, after that im happy to sit back down but only if the people in front of me are sitting down. To get people to sit down you have to start from the front, not the back!!!!!
If any football club wants an atmosphere they will have to accept standing during the singing, adrenaline flowing, want your team to do well you cant do that sitting, the act of sitting calms you down. So BHA and the authorities you need to use common sense. If they continue to be heavy handed i would suggest that we all sit for 90 minutes dont sing dont get excited and see how well the team do then and also how many people renew their season tickets as you go to football for the buzz, the atmosphere and the comoradere. Take that away then try to get 27,000 people watch lawn bowls.
Ok, i have a split opinion on this in that when theres an attack and its exciting you cant help but stand, after that im happy to sit back down but only if the people in front of me are sitting down. To get people to sit down you have to start from the front, not the back!!!!! If any football club wants an atmosphere they will have to accept standing during the singing, adrenaline flowing, want your team to do well you cant do that sitting, the act of sitting calms you down. So BHA and the authorities you need to use common sense. If they continue to be heavy handed i would suggest that we all sit for 90 minutes dont sing dont get excited and see how well the team do then and also how many people renew their season tickets as you go to football for the buzz, the atmosphere and the comoradere. Take that away then try to get 27,000 people watch lawn bowls. tandseagalsamantha
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Mon 17 Dec 12

MelsTels says...

If you are going to verbally abuse etc - we don't want you in the ground thank you
Also, the statement says "persistent standing", which is a lot different to standing for a short while during an exciting moment of the match
So, those with blinkers on - get a life and consider the consequences for safety (yours?), people around you who want to sit and can't, and general consideration all round.
I stand at exciting times - but sit down again - and I thoroughly enjoy life at the Amex !!
If you are going to verbally abuse etc - we don't want you in the ground thank you Also, the statement says "persistent standing", which is a lot different to standing for a short while during an exciting moment of the match So, those with blinkers on - get a life and consider the consequences for safety (yours?), people around you who want to sit and can't, and general consideration all round. I stand at exciting times - but sit down again - and I thoroughly enjoy life at the Amex !! MelsTels
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Mon 17 Dec 12

pinta harveys says...

it's a good job some of us fans STOOD UP all them years ago, or we wouldn't be where we are today. just another instance of JCL board members coming on board without knowing what some of the fans went through, and the HUGE part they played in saving this club. they don't look on us as fans anymore...just heads of cattle to be dictated to. our views don't count anymore
it's a good job some of us fans STOOD UP all them years ago, or we wouldn't be where we are today. just another instance of JCL board members coming on board without knowing what some of the fans went through, and the HUGE part they played in saving this club. they don't look on us as fans anymore...just heads of cattle to be dictated to. our views don't count anymore pinta harveys
  • Score: 0

4:37pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

PorkBoat wrote:
Where do they think this is? Wimbledon Centre Court? People tend to STAND UP and SING and CHEER and SHOUT at football matches. What do they expect, polite applause and murmurs of "Good play, Sir"? The stewards already get twitchy if someone raises their voice. You can't stop it, don't even try. You'll end up alienating lots of fans who have been going to see The Albion through good and bad times for years and years. Pathetic!
Spot on, sir. You'll get loads of abuse from the "it's the RULES what part of the RULES don't you understand?" lobby, but ignore it. As I said in my earlier post they'll never stop it, so as soon as the authorities realise and accept it the better it's going to be for everyone. Those who want to sit can go in one of the quieter stands, it's really not a problem. Until that day we're going to have to put up with a lot of sanctimonious drivel and empty threats.
[quote][p][bold]PorkBoat[/bold] wrote: Where do they think this is? Wimbledon Centre Court? People tend to STAND UP and SING and CHEER and SHOUT at football matches. What do they expect, polite applause and murmurs of "Good play, Sir"? The stewards already get twitchy if someone raises their voice. You can't stop it, don't even try. You'll end up alienating lots of fans who have been going to see The Albion through good and bad times for years and years. Pathetic![/p][/quote]Spot on, sir. You'll get loads of abuse from the "it's the RULES what part of the RULES don't you understand?" lobby, but ignore it. As I said in my earlier post they'll never stop it, so as soon as the authorities realise and accept it the better it's going to be for everyone. Those who want to sit can go in one of the quieter stands, it's really not a problem. Until that day we're going to have to put up with a lot of sanctimonious drivel and empty threats. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Mon 17 Dec 12

VegasSeagull says...

Maybe a huge punishment needs to come down on one of the clubs perhaps then the lesson will be learned. How would we feel if it were Brighton that was made an example of, it could happen.
Maybe a huge punishment needs to come down on one of the clubs perhaps then the lesson will be learned. How would we feel if it were Brighton that was made an example of, it could happen. VegasSeagull
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Mon 17 Dec 12

MelsTels says...

Posts on here must be written by mutton heads
Yes, I have also stood up for many years at football - since 1956
But, get a life - things change - or doesn't Hillsborough mean anything to you? - Pity you were not there - you may change your mind !!
Although perhaps not - blinkers again - one track mind
Posts on here must be written by mutton heads Yes, I have also stood up for many years at football - since 1956 But, get a life - things change - or doesn't Hillsborough mean anything to you? - Pity you were not there - you may change your mind !! Although perhaps not - blinkers again - one track mind MelsTels
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Mon 17 Dec 12

magoo says...

MelsTels wrote:
Posts on here must be written by mutton heads
Yes, I have also stood up for many years at football - since 1956
But, get a life - things change - or doesn't Hillsborough mean anything to you? - Pity you were not there - you may change your mind !!
Although perhaps not - blinkers again - one track mind
People did not die because they were standing, it was because the Police let too many people in. Controlled, sensible standing can work.
[quote][p][bold]MelsTels[/bold] wrote: Posts on here must be written by mutton heads Yes, I have also stood up for many years at football - since 1956 But, get a life - things change - or doesn't Hillsborough mean anything to you? - Pity you were not there - you may change your mind !! Although perhaps not - blinkers again - one track mind[/p][/quote]People did not die because they were standing, it was because the Police let too many people in. Controlled, sensible standing can work. magoo
  • Score: 0

6:29pm Mon 17 Dec 12

The Real Phil says...

Ballroom Blitz wrote:
Why the hell would anyone want to stand? Are they all mad?
If Brighton manage to kick the ball in the right direction they get a standing ovation!
But on a more serious note, Hillsborough has been mentionad a couple of times. and let us not forget the disasters at Ibrox (yes, TWICE).
Standing at matches should be reserved for the Sunday league, and let's face it, some of their matches are much more exciting anyway.
[quote][p][bold]Ballroom Blitz[/bold] wrote: Why the hell would anyone want to stand? Are they all mad?[/p][/quote]If Brighton manage to kick the ball in the right direction they get a standing ovation! But on a more serious note, Hillsborough has been mentionad a couple of times. and let us not forget the disasters at Ibrox (yes, TWICE). Standing at matches should be reserved for the Sunday league, and let's face it, some of their matches are much more exciting anyway. The Real Phil
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Ringmer Rich says...

Many of the stadia in the German top league have safe standing areas, and there are no problems whatsoever. The problem at Hillsboro was very poor police decisions and ridiculous fencing designed to curb the hooliganism that was so prevalent at the time.
Many of the stadia in the German top league have safe standing areas, and there are no problems whatsoever. The problem at Hillsboro was very poor police decisions and ridiculous fencing designed to curb the hooliganism that was so prevalent at the time. Ringmer Rich
  • Score: 0

6:57am Tue 18 Dec 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

MelsTels wrote:
Posts on here must be written by mutton heads
Yes, I have also stood up for many years at football - since 1956
But, get a life - things change - or doesn't Hillsborough mean anything to you? - Pity you were not there - you may change your mind !!
Although perhaps not - blinkers again - one track mind
Why do you mention Hillsborough? The concept of standing to watch football wasn't responsible for Hillsborough any more than the concept of sitting down to watch football was responsible for Bradford. Both were due to the decrepit stadiums of the era, and in the case of Hillsborough also the decrepit policing (if you've been following the latest news stories).

I'm afraid you're the blinkered one with the one-track mind, sorry.
[quote][p][bold]MelsTels[/bold] wrote: Posts on here must be written by mutton heads Yes, I have also stood up for many years at football - since 1956 But, get a life - things change - or doesn't Hillsborough mean anything to you? - Pity you were not there - you may change your mind !! Although perhaps not - blinkers again - one track mind[/p][/quote]Why do you mention Hillsborough? The concept of standing to watch football wasn't responsible for Hillsborough any more than the concept of sitting down to watch football was responsible for Bradford. Both were due to the decrepit stadiums of the era, and in the case of Hillsborough also the decrepit policing (if you've been following the latest news stories). I'm afraid you're the blinkered one with the one-track mind, sorry. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

7:11am Tue 18 Dec 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

VegasSeagull wrote:
Maybe a huge punishment needs to come down on one of the clubs perhaps then the lesson will be learned. How would we feel if it were Brighton that was made an example of, it could happen.
No it won't. It's been over twenty years since the Taylor Report and since then people have stood in all-seater stadiums for whole matches week in week out all over the country. Not ONE ground has had a Safety Certificate refused or revoked because of persistent standing by either the FLA/SGSA.

It's just one of those periodic campaigns that might claim a few individuals but won't alter the culture - a bit like temporary speed traps result in a few fines but don't stop people doing 80mph on a motorway.
[quote][p][bold]VegasSeagull[/bold] wrote: Maybe a huge punishment needs to come down on one of the clubs perhaps then the lesson will be learned. How would we feel if it were Brighton that was made an example of, it could happen.[/p][/quote]No it won't. It's been over twenty years since the Taylor Report and since then people have stood in all-seater stadiums for whole matches week in week out all over the country. Not ONE ground has had a Safety Certificate refused or revoked because of persistent standing by either the FLA/SGSA. It's just one of those periodic campaigns that might claim a few individuals but won't alter the culture - a bit like temporary speed traps result in a few fines but don't stop people doing 80mph on a motorway. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

9:07am Tue 18 Dec 12

JollyRoger says...

I'm quite relaxed about whether stadia are seated or standing nowadays but like several other contributors to this point, what bothers me most is the inconsistency about seating when it comes to away fans.

Whilst a number of these can be seen sitting, the vast majority do not and until the same rule is applied to both sets of fans at ALL stadia it is unfair to discriminate on the home fans of whichever club is taking action.
I'm quite relaxed about whether stadia are seated or standing nowadays but like several other contributors to this point, what bothers me most is the inconsistency about seating when it comes to away fans. Whilst a number of these can be seen sitting, the vast majority do not and until the same rule is applied to both sets of fans at ALL stadia it is unfair to discriminate on the home fans of whichever club is taking action. JollyRoger
  • Score: 0

9:10am Tue 18 Dec 12

raymondo999 says...

I'm 6 ft tall and can see when people stand but my kids miss all the exciting bits. At the goldstone you could bring orange boxes in to stand on if you were short but I don't think they make orange boxes any more
I'm 6 ft tall and can see when people stand but my kids miss all the exciting bits. At the goldstone you could bring orange boxes in to stand on if you were short but I don't think they make orange boxes any more raymondo999
  • Score: 0

9:10am Tue 18 Dec 12

raymondo999 says...

I'm 6 ft tall and can see when people stand but my kids miss all the exciting bits. At the goldstone you could bring orange boxes in to stand on if you were short but I don't think they make orange boxes any more
I'm 6 ft tall and can see when people stand but my kids miss all the exciting bits. At the goldstone you could bring orange boxes in to stand on if you were short but I don't think they make orange boxes any more raymondo999
  • Score: 0

9:12am Tue 18 Dec 12

Hove Actually says...

You will never stop the fans standing when they get excited and it will take a genius to work out how to get them to sit down en mass. Surely it would be better to manage it by having areas built for standing
You will never stop the fans standing when they get excited and it will take a genius to work out how to get them to sit down en mass. Surely it would be better to manage it by having areas built for standing Hove Actually
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Tue 18 Dec 12

Portlock Seagull says...

As others have said, this has been done to death on NSC. Fact remains that whatever the rights and wrongs of both sides of the argument, Brighton appear to be the only one willing to pee-off their home "Kop" supporters by insisting on enforcing the letter of the law; whether that's because the local Police have threatened action (and if so, I'd rather they focused on resolving something a little less easy to boost their crime stats!), or the club's middle-mgt have made such a drama out of this that they'd look stupid / hurt their own overblown sense of control and regulation.

This "story" will run and run until safe-standing finally returns to English football grounds; not least because the Hillsborough quoters have had their argument destroyed by this years enquiry findings (though we've all known this for years, as have anyone who was there that tragic day). Be nice if Albion led along with Villa in this respect. But club's management appear out of tune with supporters. If they think the fans will simply accept arguments veiled by H&S nonsence then they've learnt nothing from those who rebelled against the direction the board in the mid-90s was taking the club. Do well to note BHA fans are a resilent lot and when they feel passionate about something that's right and logical, it's better to recognise and have a dialogue because.....

....We won't be druv!
As others have said, this has been done to death on NSC. Fact remains that whatever the rights and wrongs of both sides of the argument, Brighton appear to be the only one willing to pee-off their home "Kop" supporters by insisting on enforcing the letter of the law; whether that's because the local Police have threatened action (and if so, I'd rather they focused on resolving something a little less easy to boost their crime stats!), or the club's middle-mgt have made such a drama out of this that they'd look stupid / hurt their own overblown sense of control and regulation. This "story" will run and run until safe-standing finally returns to English football grounds; not least because the Hillsborough quoters have had their argument destroyed by this years enquiry findings (though we've all known this for years, as have anyone who was there that tragic day). Be nice if Albion led along with Villa in this respect. But club's management appear out of tune with supporters. If they think the fans will simply accept arguments veiled by H&S nonsence then they've learnt nothing from those who rebelled against the direction the board in the mid-90s was taking the club. Do well to note BHA fans are a resilent lot and when they feel passionate about something that's right and logical, it's better to recognise and have a dialogue because..... ....We won't be druv! Portlock Seagull
  • Score: 0

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